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HomeNewsComox ValleyCourtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns pressures feds on Union Bay shipbreaking operation

Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns pressures feds on Union Bay shipbreaking operation

Courtenay-Alberni’s MP Gord Johns took a stand about a shipbreaking operation in Union Bay, questioning the Liberals on how long the operation will be allowed.

Speaking to parliamentary secretary of transport Vance Badawey, Johns said the area’s residents, First Nations and provincial government have been urging the feds to step in and stop the operation.

Johns added the operation could cause grave damage to employment and the area’s economy along with resident well-being and environmental damage.

“A boat filled with asbestos is being broken apart in sensitive fish and shellfish habitat, which could cause irrevocable harm and cost 500 people their jobs,” said Johns. “The B.C. government, local First Nations and residents say the Liberals are failing to protect Union Bay.”

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Johns concluded by asking when the Liberal government will start making changes to shipbreaking regulations to protect marine environments and local jobs. The NDP adds the area is home to almost 50 per cent of the province’s shellfish population.

Badawey said this is something the government has been working on “for quite some time” with the NDP through committee and certain members.

“We will continue to work on this issue and ensure that a lot of concerns that the member [Johns] has will be addressed shortly,” said Badawey.

The operation being carried out by Deep Water Recovery Ltd. has come under scrutiny over the last few years, with residents and K’ómoks First Nation calling for its removal.

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A notice of civil claim was filed by the Comox Valley Regional District in April 2022. They are seeking an order that prohibits the use of the subject property for shipbreaking and remediation within Glover Park for unauthorized land alterations.

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